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Filter File Error

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btreloar

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Post Posted February 17th, 2010, 3:35 pm

I'm getting this alert:

One of your filters uses a custom header that contains an invalid character, such as ':', a non-printable character, a non-ascii character, or an eight-bit ascii character. Please edit the msgFilterRules.dat file, which contains your filters, to remove invalid characters from your custom headers.

I find multiple copies of msgFilterRules.dat. How do I determine which one is being referenced?

The error mentions a custom header, but I see nothing in these files that looks like a header. What does "header" mean in this context?

Once I know which one it is, what do I do with it? I do find colons in the files, like this:
actionValue="mailbox://nobody@Local%20Folders/Rank%20Magic"
Is that an error? If so, how should I correct it?
Bill Treloar

Lee_Dailey

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Post Posted February 18th, 2010, 2:00 am

howdy btreloar,

i _think_ that actually means one of your filters that uses the "custom" field in the 2nd droplist of the msg filter dialog to enter a header:value test has an illegal name. for example, this [from the "msgFilterRules.dat" in one account] ...

Code: Select all
name="X-Mozilla-Keys contains: 1234"
enabled="no"
type="17"
action="Move to folder"
actionValue="mailbox://[my-account-name]/_Transfer"
condition="AND (\"x-mozilla-keys\",contains,1234)"


... tests for a custom header named "x-mozilla-keys" in the "condition" line. try looking over yours and see if you've got some oddball chars in one of the "condition" lines.

hope that helps,
lee

btreloar

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Post Posted February 18th, 2010, 12:17 pm

Thanks!!! I found an errant equal sign - I'll be that was the culprit
Bill Treloar

Lee_Dailey

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Post Posted February 18th, 2010, 2:22 pm

howdy Bill,

kool! you are welcome. [*grin*] glad to help a little.

take care,
lee

btreloar

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Post Posted February 19th, 2010, 10:50 am

Well .... now I've started getting that error message again. Which leads me to the problem that it doesn't tell me which (of about 6) filter files is the culprit.

Is there any way I can eliminate all but one of them? I've got several accounts that are all going through the same mail server, just with different email addresses. Can't I somehow roll all the filters into one? For example, if I always want Aunt Sadie's emails to be automatically deleted, I don't care which email address she used, so why should I have to enter a filter for her into every one of them.

Is there some way to have only one, single master filter list?
Bill Treloar

Lee_Dailey

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Post Posted February 19th, 2010, 7:21 pm

howdy Bill,

that's one thing folks have been asking for. a unified filter system. it doesn't exist as yet. lookee ...

- (GlobalFilters) global message filter option
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=34973

- Mail account as filter criterion
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=267197

- Filters Should be Shareable Across Multiple E-mail Accounts
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=129883

- [META] Improve mail message filters
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=66425

one would never guess that this general idea has annoyed me more than once, would one? [*grin*]

if a bug fits your situation, you might want to vote for it. please, do NOT comment unless you have new info. bugspamming - "me too" comments and various rants [*grin*] - is a good way to get the bug ignored.
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/page.cgi?id=etiquette.html

now, to address your "how do i", the filters are triggered ONLY for the account you are in. you can see that by selecting an account and opening the msg filter dialog, then closing that, select another account and look at the msg filter dialog again. the filter list will not be identical unless you really have the same filter names in each account.

take care,
lee

btreloar

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Post Posted February 20th, 2010, 7:01 am

I've combined a bunch of accounts into one as aliases (same mail server for all) and deleted a bunch of folders. Those folders contained msgFilterRules.dat files, so the problem of too many msgFilterRules.dat files is taken care of. I also found one (huge) filter file that was imported from Eudora that had some special characters in a Condition, and simply deleted that filter.

FWIW, I don't seem to be able to find that huge filter list assigned to any accounts in Thunderbird ... I'm down to two accounts now, my main one and my POP Gmail account. Each one has a filter list (Gmail's list is empty) but there's no account to bring up the large filter file that imported from Eudora. That file is in a Mail subfolder (under Users on my hard drive) called Local Folders. Can I just delete that Local Folders folder? Or perhaps just the msgFilterRules.dat file within that folder?

I have my fingers crossed, but this problem may be behind me.
Bill Treloar

Lee_Dailey

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Post Posted February 20th, 2010, 7:50 am

howdy Bill,

actually, "local folders" IS an account! [*grin*] if you have no need for those filters, deleting the file is fine.

take care,
lee

btreloar

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Post Posted February 20th, 2010, 8:25 am

Gee, those filters were built up over years of use in Eudora ... and I find I'm recreating them from scratch for my current email accounts in Tbird. How can I use them? Copy & paste from one file to another?

How does one use the Local Folders account? It doesn't ever display any messages - all my messages are in subfolders of that.
Bill Treloar

Lee_Dailey

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Post Posted February 20th, 2010, 11:22 pm

howdy bill,

here's some info on local folders ...
Local Folders - MozillaZine Knowledge Base

here's some info on global inbox [which it seems you may be using] ...
Global Inbox - MozillaZine Knowledge Base

filters ... arg! [*grin*]

you can do some experimenting on inserting rules from one file into another. i did it successfully for a client several times. it's not actually difficult, just tedious and very VERY detailed.

if you've got lots of filters, i would 1st try making new ones and seeing how much hassle it is. then try the msg filter file insert method and see how much hassle THAT is. go with the one that's least annoying.

i'd be tempted to use the insert method just cuz i like that kind of stuff. yes, i am a wanna-be programmer. thankfully, i _know_ i'm a lousy programmer, so i stick to doing that kinda stuff when i can't easily harm others. [*grin*]

take care,
lee

btreloar

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Post Posted February 21st, 2010, 12:18 pm

Lee_Dailey wrote:here's some info on global inbox [which it seems you may be using] ...
Global Inbox - MozillaZine Knowledge Base


Thanks for the links, Lee. In going through the first one, and I found this:
If you configure a POP account to use a Global Inbox the new messages are downloaded into a Inbox folder in Local Folders.

I don't have an Inbox under my Local Folders, so I'm guessing that means I'm not using a Global Inbox ... do you concur?
Bill Treloar

btreloar

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Post Posted February 21st, 2010, 12:35 pm

BTW, there's something weird going on. Messages are not getting filtered right. They're getting filtered into one of my main inbox-like local folders based on one of my top two filters, but are not being detected by lower filters. The top filters do NOT specify "Stop Filter Execution", so I'm expecting the message to be subject to any lower filters that apply, right?

Now some of those lower filters do specify Stop Filter Execution ... but that should only trigger if the message satisfies that filter's criteria, right? Just to test, I moved one non-firing filter up to position #3, right beneath my two top filters. Both move the message to a named folder if the TO address is one of my two main email addresses. (Those filters seem to fire just fine, and neither one says to Stop Filter Execution.) I still can't get the now-#3 filter to fire. I can select Run Filters on Folder or even Run Filters on Message, but nothing happens ... the message stays right where it is.

I'm guessing what's causing this is also causing a lot of my Junk messages to end up in these two mailboxes as well, right?

How do I troubleshoot this?
Bill Treloar

Lee_Dailey

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Post Posted February 21st, 2010, 10:29 pm

howdy bill,

the most often seen gotcha with filters is that the series of filters _stops_ when a filter moves the msg. you mentioned that "both move the msg" and that's why the 1st of them triggers and the 2nd does not. generally speaking, you want filters to do things in this rough order ...

1- get move msgs that don't need any other tests
2- mark msgs according to the filter tests
3- move msgs according to the tests in step 2

at least, that's the way i finally ended up doing it. my way allows me to do complicated stuff with a clear diagnostic path. well, one that's clear in _my_ head.

btw, the 2nd most often seen gotcha with filters is that they run automatically ONLY on the various official inbox folders.

i presume you've seen this ...
Thunderbird Filter Additions
... but i'll include i anyway as a "just in case". [*grin*]


take care,
lee

btreloar

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Post Posted February 22nd, 2010, 7:36 am

Thanks, Lee! This is wonderful information.

When you say "Mark", I presume you mean assign one of the available Tags?

Is there any way to customize Tags? Like changing the label from Label 1, Label 2, ... to more meaningful terms?

The 2nd gotcha ... can you elaborate a bit? Is this the situati9on where I have two incoming accounts, a normal POP account and a Gmail account and the POP filters won't run on incoming Gmail? If that's the deal, I can work with that. In fact, once I have my filters pretty much created for the POP account, I should be able to copy & paste them into the msgFilterRules.dat file for my Gmail ... if I understand this right.

And no, I hadn't seen the filter add-ons. Thanks for that link!
Bill
Bill Treloar

btreloar

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Post Posted February 22nd, 2010, 11:30 am

Lee ... I've tried tagging things and then moving them somewhere later in the filters based on the tag. Is there anyway to remove the tag? I tried changing it to Tag7, but that just ADDED the tag.

I must be doing this wrong, huh?
Bill Treloar

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